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kottke.org posts about FBI

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

posted by Jason Kottke   May 26, 2016

Osage Dancers

David Grann has been relatively quiet lately on Twitter and at the New Yorker, where he is a staff writer; he hasn’t written anything for them in more than four years. I figured he was busy writing a book and so he was. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is about the murders of the members of the Osage Indian Nation in the 1920s.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.

Sounds fantastic. Grann’s previous books are The Devil and Sherlock Holmes and The Lost City of Z, which should be out in movie form sometime soon.

Pressure cookers and backpacks

posted by Aaron Cohen   Aug 01, 2013

Michele Catalano’s house was recently visited by 6 the FBI law enforcement officials who asked about various web searches made by members of the household. So, uh, it seems like your web searches ARE being monitored.

Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-ear-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.

Update: A little bit more to the story.

We found out through the Suffolk Police Department that the searches involved also things my husband looked up at his old job. We were not made aware of this at the time of questioning and were led to believe it was solely from searches from within our house.

[…]

If it was misleading, just know that my intention was the truth. And that was what I knew as the truth until about ten minutes ago. That there were other circumstances involved was something we all were unaware of.

An anonymous author (they cannot legally reveal

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 26, 2007

An anonymous author (they cannot legally reveal their identity) describes their National Security Letter gag order. Since the Patriot Act, the FBI has been sending out tens of thousands of these Letters, the recipients of which have no choice but to comply and keep absolutely quiet about it. “Living under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case — including the mere fact that I received an NSL — from my colleagues, my family and my friends.”

According to data from an annual FBI

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 20, 2006

According to data from an annual FBI study, New York City was the safest large city in the US in 2005. Least safe big city: Dallas.